Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ave, Peter!

Peter at Conscious Entities does his best CS Lewis impression from The Screwtape Letters and, in the guise of senior devil Screwtape, tackles the interesting subject of Eben Alexander, the neurosurgeon who has so recently-- and famously-- written and spoken about his extra-corporeal experience following clinical death from complications related to meningitis. (I reacted to Alexander's claims here. Dr. Hodges reacted here. In a more eloquent and sophisticated manner, Peter arrives at conclusions that are remarkably like my own. "One life is good enough," he writes.)

A fun excerpt from Peter's post:

Consider, to begin with, the opportunities for that most useful sin, spiritual vanity. I say opportunities, but are we not in fact dealing with a sin which is already fully realised? The symptoms of vanity are bad enough in those people who merely insist on telling one about their dreams; this fellow believes his are a Divine revelation which we must all read about! I hardly think Dr Alexander, in the quiet of his own mind, can suppose himself to be much less than a saint – and then which of the saints could claim to have the further distinction of being a proper scientist? A neurosurgeon, to boot! He surely feels that he has been called to a high and lonely eminence. Apart from its inherently damnable qualities, this vanity will encourage a misplaced feeling of certainty and divert his attention away from the very area – his own failings and imperfections – which most need his attention. And of course it is always especially delightful when a man’s religion is the very thing that helps drag him Hellwards.

Do note, as you read Peter's piece, the stereotypically British hatred of commas (perhaps not so visible in the above-quoted excerpt).



Bratfink said...

Ah, The Screwtape Letters! I love that book. Recently reread it online here: http://www.freebooks2u.org/authors/C_S_Lewis.html

Kevin Kim said...

I hope you enjoy Peter's post just as thoroughly.